14-Year-Old Dies Mid-Flight, Mother Sues

A New York City woman, Melissa Arzu, has filed a lawsuit against American Airlines following the death of her 14-year-old son, Kevin Greenidge, during a flight in 2022. Arzu, a resident of the Bronx, claims that the defibrillator used by the flight crew in an attempt to save her son was defective and has since disappeared, as stated in the lawsuit.

The incident occurred on American Airlines flight 614 from Honduras to Miami, where Kevin was returning from a vacation with a family member. The lawsuit, which was filed in Texas earlier this month, alleges that the cabin crew was slow to respond and lacked proper training when Kevin lost consciousness mid-flight.

Hannah Crowe, Arzu’s attorney, informed that multiple eyewitnesses confirmed that the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) used in the resuscitation attempt seemed to malfunction. “After Kevin’s death, the equipment vanished,” Crowe stated, raising questions about whether the device was intentionally destroyed, defective, or put back into service.

Crowe emphasized that these potential scenarios represent serious violations of federal laws designed to protect passengers. Since 2004, defibrillators have been mandatory on all passenger planes and are classified as “no-go” equipment. This means that a plane cannot be dispatched if these devices are missing or non-functional, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Kevin had asthma and type 2 diabetes, and his death was primarily attributed to a myocardial infarction, commonly known as a heart attack. The lawsuit also alleges that American Airlines failed to provide an advance payment of $113,100 following Kevin’s death, as per the company’s policy in the event of a passenger’s death on board.

American Airlines refrained from commenting on the ongoing litigation but expressed their condolences to Kevin’s family. After the unsuccessful resuscitation attempt, the flight was diverted to Cancun, Mexico, where Kevin was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Arzu expressed her disappointment with the airline, stating that she had not heard from them following her son’s death. She is seeking answers and wants American Airlines to take full responsibility for Kevin’s death to prevent such incidents in the future.

Crowe revealed that Arzu’s initial lawsuit in New York was dismissed as American Airlines pushed for the trial to be held in Fort Worth, Texas, where the company is headquartered. Crowe criticized this move, stating that it added to Arzu’s distress by forcing her to travel to Texas.